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Health Care Financ Rev. 2001 Summer;22(4):141-53.

Use of preventive care services, beneficiary characteristics, and Medicare HMO performance.

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Wagner Graduate School, New York University, USA.


Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) enrollees use more preventive care services than their fee-for-service (FFS) counterparts. This may be because those who enroll in HMOs have characteristics that make them more disposed to use preventive care. To investigate this possibility, we examined the use of four preventive care services by respondents to the 1996 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). Unadjusted preventive care use rates for HMO enrollees were slightly higher than rates for non-HMO enrollees with private supplemental insurance. However, after adjusting for enrollee characteristics (sociodemographics, health behaviors, health status, and functioning) we found that preventive care use rates for HMO enrollees were substantially higher--consistent with HMO enrollees being less disposed to use preventive care. In comparing preventive care service rates across groups, managers and policymakers may want to consider taking into account beneficiary characteristics that are correlated with the disposition to use preventive care.

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